Thursday, 17 October 2013

How can we be happy?

By Mileidy Johana Malagón Tovar (undergraduate Social Communication and Journalism student, level 4 English) 

According to studies by the World Database of Happiness, happiness is not in the places where we might expect to find it, but in our own hands.

The director of this database, professor Ruut Veenhoven, says that, amongst the participants in a recent study, he found that there is a negative relationship between “objectives” and “happiness”. The reason for this is because people who are not happy are more aware of their goals as they try to improve their lives.

It’s also important that, although Professor Veenhoven told the BBC “to lead a happy life, a fulfilling life, you need to be active, and participate in different activities,” an active lifestyle does not always have a stronger relationship with happiness. 

So, what must we do to be happier? Studies compiled by the World Database of Happiness point out that, for people to be happier, it is advisable:

* to go to dinner with friends
* to have close friendships
* to be in a long-term relationship
* to be actively involved in politics
* to be active at work and at leisure

Surprising findings:

- People who drink alcohol in moderation are happier than people who do not drink alcohol.
- You are happier if you think you’re attractive.
- Sadness is actually useful to us, as it acts as a “red traffic light” that stops negative behaviour. It’s good to be sad up to 10% of the time.
- If you are a workaholic, you will feel happier if you do exercise to relax after work, instead of having a beer on the couch.

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